TKO Unveiled as New $21.4 Billion Sports Entertainment Powerhouse Merging WWE and UFC
WWE and Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, have officially merged to form TKO, a sports entertainment juggernaut valued at $21.4 billion.
To commemorate the inception of the new publicly traded entity that unifies the WWE and UFC brands, TKO executives rang the NYSE opening bell this past Tuesday. Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. owns a majority 51 percent stake in TKO, while the remaining 49 percent is held by existing WWE shareholders.
Steering the new enterprise will be Endeavor’s CEO Ari Emanuel, while Vince McMahon, WWE’s executive chairman, will continue in the same role and is said to control over 16 percent of TKO’s voting stock and total interest. UFC President Dana White has been appointed CEO, although his duties are anticipated to remain largely unchanged. Meanwhile, current WWE CEO Nick Khan will serve as the president of the professional wrestling division.
“The creation of TKO marks an exciting new chapter for UFC and WWE as leaders in global sports and entertainment,” said Ari Emanuel in a press statement. “Given their continued connectivity to the Endeavor network, we are confident in our ability to accelerate their respective growth and unlock long-term sustainable value for shareholders. With UFC and WWE under one roof, we will provide unrivaled experiences for more than a billion passionate fans worldwide.”
TKO initiated its public trading journey on the NYSE this Tuesday, listed under the ticker symbol “TKO.” The stock kicked off at an opening price of $102, experiencing modest fluctuations in the first hour and a half.
“This is the culmination of a decades-long partnership between Endeavor and WWE across strategic initiatives including talent representation and media rights. Given our collaborative, trusted relationship and Endeavor’s incredible track record of success growing UFC, we believe WWE is optimally positioned for future growth and success as part of TKO,” stated Vince McMahon. “Our focus remains on delivering for our fans across the globe as we take the business to the next level alongside UFC and Endeavor.” This historic merger signals the close of the McMahon family’s 70-year leadership of WWE.
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